Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Swear Jar

It’s that time of year again: Lent. Last year I wrote this article, A Skeptics Lent Reflections, because I have always had an aversion to giving things up for Lent. I feel like someone out there needs to break the rules and I’ve always been happy to take that role.

Looks like this year may be an exception…

So, I was in the car with a bunch of kids and my nephew told us that he was giving up candy (My niece promptly replied she wasn’t giving up anything. My soul-sister, that girl…so proud) and Thomas piped in telling the entire car that I needed to give up swearing for Lent.


I figured if my 10-year-old is parenting me, I may need to step it up a notch. So, I made a deal that I will put a $1 in this jar every time I say a bad word. I’m on the honor system when they are not around. At the end of lent, they can divvy up the money amongst themselves.

It’s only been a day and I’ve already had to pay $3.00.

I think the kids were being extra bad just to make me swear. D&mn them.

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In the spirit of gratitude, brought on by the many emotional things that have occurred recently, I decided to take a moment and tell Dalai Dan what I loved about him the most:

His patience
His laughter
His naturally centered emotional state
His positive outlook
His loyalty to our family
His deep love for our children
His flexibility

I could go on…he is truly a remarkable person. How many men could deal with a wife like me that airs every thought on a international platform? And not only deals with it, loves me more for it?

Seriously, friends, I am lucky.

As the one-sided conversation came to an end, and he was quietly listening to the story of his greatness, I paused and asked him,

“So, what would you say is the part of me that you appreciate the most?”

He thought for a moment (hating to be put on the spot to express his feelings. I didn’t say he was perfect) and then said,

“You will always make me something to eat. You make dinner and make me smoothies…I like not having to worry about food.”

So, there you have it. The Dalai Lina distilled down to her basic function in this family: food management.

The bottom line, ladies, is when it comes to men, don’t underestimate the power of their stomach! They are still boys wanting to be taken care of.

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Happy Birthday To Me!

Yes, today I officially turn 40! At 9:10am, 40 years ago, in a California hospital, I entered this world butt first. (much to the uncomfort of my mother) As she got to know me over the years, she said it was apropos that I would chose to be born differently than everyone else. Baring it all from the beginning…

Here is a little photo tribute to myself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed looking through our old photo albums.

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes and have a beautiful day!

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My newest obsession is Downton Abby. How did I not know this show existed until 2 weeks ago? You know my preoccupation with all things English and historical…why didn’t you tell me? I’ve been watching the old episodes from Netflix, absorbing every minute like chamois. Then, hovering over the mailbox for the next disc.

I want to be Lady Mary Crawley. Ok, it kind of sucks that she can’t inherit her father’s estate because she is a girl. But she has a personal assistant and a beautiful wardrobe.

What strikes me about this show is how far women have come in 100 years. So many amazing achievements that are due to the sacrifices of women before us.

In Downton Abby, women who do things for themselves and don’t have a staff are looked down on. However, the funny thing is, I think we may have gotten ourselves in the opposite situation! Thanks to Women’s Lib, we are not only allowed to do anything we want, we are expected to be Superwomen and do it all. WITHOUT ANY HELP. I feel like it is often “looked down on” if a women has assistance.

Nanny picking the kids up from school? Hummm…
Housecleaner? Oh, how lucky for her.
A cook to help with meals? Seems indulgent if you ask me.
Personal Assistant? And she doesn’t even have a job!

Remember, ladies, women’s liberation was a movement to ensure our equal place in society. Now we CAN chose to do anything we want, just like men. But, this does’t mean we have to do it all. And it definitely doesn’t mean we have to do all it without help.

Women should support each other and our capacities. If we want to work, great. If we want to stay home, great. If we want a nanny, great.

We have not failed our feminist foremothers if we chose to raise a family and find out that it is so damn hard we need help.

Ok, now for Master Matthew Crawley…the dishes can wait 🙂

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I got some hilarious emails & comments from readers and friends about my Friday’s post that prompted me to take some snap shots from a different perspective.

It is easy to zoom in, filter out the noise, and see beauty in everyday objects around you. Zoom out, however, and I live in the heart of the Chaos Theory.

Let’s start with my desk, which looks like this every day. I have an organizational rhythm beneath the exterior mayhem which Dalai Dan cannot appreciate. This desk is possibly our biggest threat to our marriage, second only to his milk expiration date phobia.

My bathroom is not much better. If I know I’m going to use all of this stuff the next day, why bother?

Let move onto the animals, who try their very best to add a unique imprint on our home. Remember my favorite chair? It is right next to this mess created the same day by our bladder-challenged dog.

Moving onto our cat, who poops no less than 12 times a day. And every time she does, she digs a whole big enough to conceal a dead body, enthusiastically flinging her litter all over the floor.

Notice the towel under her litter box? It is there because she constantly underestimated the size of her butt. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched Mia squat her bum over the edge and pee all over the floor.

There is the dirty girl…

Our children are no better than the animals. Their destructive force is immeasurable. I have commiserated about it with you here.

Dalai Daniel’s lego obsession has not been thwarted. His lego men, heads, arms, and pieces are still all over the house. And in the vacuum cleaner bag. I bet there are 3 dozen severed lego hands in there.

This is a light day for the air hockey table. Only home to 3 coats, 2 pairs of socks, 1 plate with cemented quesadilla cheese, 2 granola bar wrappers, 1 backpack, 1 guitar, 1 tennis racquet, and 27 school worksheets.

I have my limits. I refuse to show you what I found INSIDE the toilet, which could be anywhere from 8 hours to 3 days old. We are still working on flushing in the Dalai household.

All-in-all, an accurate reflection of a typical Sunday mess.

I hope this makes you feel better about your stained carpet, overstuffed drawers, and out-of-control clutter. You are in good company 😉

I’m off to clean! Have a fantastic, clean day!

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Drawing ccourtesy of Dalai Daniel, age 7

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

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Greetings from Vail! It is a little icy here. Not much snow to speak of, but we are making the most of it.

The amazing bright sun was out all day, which made up for 1/3 of the mountain being closed. It was truly a beautiful day!


We all met mid way up the mountain for a high quality lunch consisting of butter noodles, chips and Gatorade. (the entire family needs to go into carb rehab)


I took a lesson with Dalai Daniel (age 7) and my niece (age 8) and they constantly had to wait for me. It was ridiculous.

After accidentally tripping Dalai D twice (once causing the lift to shut down), he frustratedly yelled “See, that’s why I didn’t want you in my lesson!”

Whatever, Dalai D. I may suck at skiing, but I looked good. Not everyone can have a hot mom like this…

Have a great week and I’ll be back in force next week! I love you guys!

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